Ah, everything seems right with the world again as the Wee Beers dropped a game to the Astros (despite the fact that Houston ace Roy Oswalt left the game in the first with back troubles and his replacement had to leave a short time later with suspected a appendix-related condition) and the Cardinals thrashed the Dodgers to regain their spot at the top of the National League Central.
Despite the 10-0 final score, it was a hard fought game. And I was impressed with the way the Cardinals won the battle of the wills and then poured it on.
The game was a scoreless tie when the Birds came to bat in the bottom of the sixth when Mark DeRosa ended up on third and Albert Pujols stood on second with one out. Newly acquired slugger Matt Holliday came to the plate and was intentionally walked. But the hot hitting Ryan Ludwick came through with a two-run single and busted things wide open.
Fortunately, unlike in the past, the Cardinals didn't settle for the slim lead. After Colby Rasmus pulled a hard hit grounder to first to advance runners to second and third and Brendan Ryan was intentionally walked to load the bases. Then starting pitcher Adam Wainwright helped himself with a single and Skip Schumaker drove in another run with a single to give the Cardinals a commanding 6-0 lead.
DeRosa, who made two of the three outs in the Cardinals big sixth, made up for it in the bottom of the eighth when he followed Nick Stavinoha's RBI hit with a three-run homer to make it 10-0. Some might say those were meaningless runs. But the Birds have had so many problems scoring -- combined with some crooked number innings allowed recently by the bullpenners -- that I was thrilled to see the icing applied to the cake.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Wainwright not only drove in enough runs to win the game himself, he tossed eight scoreless innings with eight hits and one walk allowed. He struck out five.
Lowlight: Rick Ankiel, who is on fire at the plate and in the field lately, was held out of the game with a strained groin muscle. Hopefully this isn't serious because the Cardinals need to take advantage of everyone - except Albert Pujols -- getting hot at the same time and ride it to a nice winning streak.